The occult invasion of evangelical churches is one of the most shocking facts of our day. Ecumenism, with its attempt to avoid the distinction between right and wrong and to accept all views, has been a major factor. It should be clear that the idea of mind power (positive or negative thinking creating one’s own reality) is just another form of the dark and light side of the Force. One of that belief’s foremost promoters and a major influence in the evangelical church is the well-known and successful Wall Street money manager Sir John Marks Templeton, founder of The Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
Templeton and his neopagan views were first introduced to the church in 1986 by Robert Schuller, who continues to endorse him. Schuller’s Possibilities magazine put Templeton’s picture on its front cover, and its major article was an interview with Templeton. In it he expressed his Unity/Religious Science/New Age beliefs: “Your spiritual principles attract prosperity to you…material success…comes…from being in tune with the infinite…. The Christ spirit dwells in every human being whether the Person knows it or not…nothing exists except God.” These heresies were promoted by Schuller to his vast audience of readers.
The pantheistic belief that “nothing exists except God” is the foundation of the Mind Science cults. It goes like this: “God is All and God is good; therefore all is good. Thus pain, disease and death do not exist. They are the projection of the negative thinking of those who imagine they experience such thing. To be delivered from this delusion one must change one’s thinking from negative (the dark side) to positive (the light side).” Such is the theory behind The Power of Positive Thinking by Norma Vincent Peale’s bestselling book that has powerfully influenced evangelicals for years.
Templeton’s beliefs are expressed clearly in his writings. He is an evolutionist, pantheist, universalist, and occultist who rejects the God of the Bible and Christ as the only Savior and claims that heaven and hell are states of mind we create here on earth, that truth is relative, and that Christianity is no longer relevant. Yet this man is highly acclaimed in evangelical circles. He was on the board of Princeton Theological Seminary and for 15 years was on the board of managers of the American Bible society, in spite of his rejection of the Bible as God’s Word. Norman Vincent Peale called Templeton “the greatest layman of the Christian Church in our time.”
Templeton’s 1994 book, Discovering the Laws of Life, is pure occultism. But instead of warning against it, Christianity Today devoted the entire back cover of its April 24, 1994, issue to an ad promoting it, and has not apologized to its readers since then. Headlines “WILL INSPIRE MILLIONS OF READERS,” the ad contained the same endorsements by five prominent leaders which are on the back of the book jacket: Norman Vincent Peale (who also wrote the foreword), Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, and two prominent Catholic New Age leaders. Here are some sample quotes from the book:
“Behind this book is my belief that the basic principles for leading a ‘sublime life’…may be derived from any religious tradition—Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and others as well as Christian….
“We have the power to create whatever we need in our life and this power [which] lies within us is the power of the mind…. There is a law of life…: ‘Thoughts held in mind will reproduce in the outer world after their own kind….’
“Astronauts travel[ed] into outer space…[and] did not bring back any evidence of heaven. And whereas drills had penetrated the earth, they’d found oil, not hell…spiritual theorists are inclined to conceive of [heaven and hell] as states of mind….
“Through our choices and attitudes we create our own heaven or hell right here on earth…the only place we can find heaven is in our own hearts….
“Our innate goodness is an essential fact of our existence…. When we perceive this truth, we will experience heaven on earth…. When our actions arise spontaneously from the goodness of our being, we find peace and the presence of God within us.
“Be honest. Be true. Love all parts of yourself…the godhood within you…is in a state of becoming perfect.”
The endorsements by Peale and Schuller, both of whom have promoted the same occult philosophy for years, are not surprising. That Christianity Today, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, and Bill Bright would also praise Templeton is shocking evidence of compromise among leading evangelicals.